Monday, January 30, 2012

My Back Is Back

I’ve never seen my back. I know it’s there as the posterior of my front and from an occasional itch as it begs for my backscratcher. And I know when it’s not up to the task of keeping me upright, like now.

Walking at a slight diagonal is not the worst thing. The most painful part is going from horizontal to vertical. Even sitting to standing can be a twelve step program. I suppose quadrupeds never dreamed of ambulating like apes.

About half my life ago I played basketball in the park most Sunday mornings. Predictably, I’d hobble home with sciatica on Sunday afternoons. At age forty I was delusional enough to think I was twenty. (I wonder if at age twenty I thought I was ten) It seemed like a small enough price to pay. It all came to a halt when I broke my ankle. But the real end happened when the other players started calling me, sir. The one thing I wasn’t looking for on the court was deference.

I made a decision at that time to opt for a sedentary life. Of course I was on my feet all day as a pharmacist racing around dispensing miracle healings. But I declared myself unavailable for athletic activity. I was going to save myself; my knees, my back and my ankles. It worked. Besides running off at the mouth and an occasional poetic leap I stay put. The stationary bike has taken me close to my 80th year.

Now and then I’ll get a back ache but not high back pain or middle back pain; only low back. It must be the seat of all my depression. But I’ve never been depressed; worried, yes, fearful, I’ll admit to that. Alright, I’ll stop carrying the woes of the world. Right now, I can’t even carry out the garbage.

In the meantime Peggy and other friends have had epidurals sufficient to keep many doctors in many Lexus. I know that spinal stenosis often comes with age. Surely that couldn’t apply to me, could it? Naw! This feels like a simple pain-above-the-ass. I could see a chiropractor who would crack me, sublax me and sell me a fistful of herbs and I’d be cured in seven days. Or I could do nothing and heal in a week.

For the long term I know I ought to be building up my stomach muscles but I’d walk a mile to avoid exercise. There may not be any long term and I hate to think of all that waste. I’m easily bored with regimens especially if they require effort. I’ll take my chances and wait for, Time, that great healer.


  1. Ah, now Norm. I think it is time you had a deep tissue massage. It will do more for you than a chiropractor, medicine or a doctor. It even gives time a hand.

  2. Wunderbar . . . and I know you can turn this thing around.